One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1With reference to a group of people: a self-centred attitude, corresponding to egotism in an individual. rare before 20th cent.
2With reference to an individual: the use of the word ‘we’ in stating his or her own opinions. rare.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Blackwood's Magazine. From classical Latin nōs, 1st person plural pronoun + -ism, after egotism.
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